The Arenac County Story
Arenac: "A sandy place for a good footing." That's what Henry Rowe Schoolcraft observed of the area when he named it after the combination of "arena" referring to the sand in the Coliseum in Italy that provided a better footing for gladiators, and "ac" for "place of."
Located at the bottom of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron, this area has long been inhabited. 5000 year old Native American artifacts have been found in the area. The Rifle, Au Gres, and Pine Rivers made for excellent fishing and canoeing routes for both the Ottawa Indians and early settlers to the area including Captain J.P. Phillips and John Lentz, who started a sawmill in 1856.
Arenac County organized in 1883 during the lumber boom, keeping to it's name in providing settlers a "good footing" for starting out. Arenac County today remains a popular resort area, with plenty of canoeing, hunting, and fishing. Standish, the county seat, is known as a supply headquarters for those traveling up North.
The Rifle, AuGres, and Pine Rivers continue to be favorite canoeing, rafting, and fishing sports providing ample opportunity for Trout, Chinook, Coho, 'Suckers, and Smelt. The miles of Saginaw Bay shoreline Arenac County offer challenging Lake Huron fishing and boating.
Camping, swimming, boat launches, marinas and parks are also available throughout Arenac County.